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This narrative symposium brings to light the extreme difficulties faced by parents of children diagnosed with brain tumors. NIB editorial staff and narrative symposium editors, Gigi McMillan and Christy A. Rentmeester, developed a call for stories that was distributed on several list serves and posted on Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics’ website. The call asks parents to share their personal experience of diagnosis, treatment, long–term effects of treatment, social issues and the doctor–patient–parent dynamic that develops during this process. Thirteen stories are found in the print version of the journal and an additional six supplemental stories are published online only through Project MUSE. One change readers may notice is that the story authors are not listed in alphabetical order. The symposium editors had a vision for this issue that included leading readers through the timeline of this topic: diagnosis–treatment–acute recovery–recurrence–treatment (again)–acute recovery (again)–long-term quality of life–(possibly) end of life. Stories are arranged to help lead the reader through this timeline.
Gigi McMillan is a patient and research subject advocate, co-founder of We Can, Pediatric Brain Tumor Network, as well as, the mother of a child who suffered from a pediatric brain tumor. She also authored the introduction for this symposium. Christy Rentmeester is an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Ethics in the Creighton University School of Medicine. She served as a commentator for this issue. Other commentators for this issue are Michael Barraza, a clinical psychologist and board member of We Can, Pediatric Brain Tumor Network; Lisa Stern, a pediatrician who has diagnosed six children with brain tumors in her 20 years of practice; and Katie Rose, a pediatric brain tumor patient who shares her special insights about this world.